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good evening on this wednesday night. we begin with a story still unfolding at this hour. details pouring in. a hostage crisis, american workers kidnapped by an extremist group believed to be linked to al qaeda. it happened in algeria, and tonight, abc's chief global affairs correspondent martha raddatz is traveling with the defense secretary, who is in italy watching every move. martha? >> reporter: good evening, diane, from rome, where secretary of defense leon panetta is urgently trying to get more information about this attack on americans and others. three americans are believed to be held hostage right now, but u.s. officials warn that number is fluid. secretary panetta tonight says the u.s. will take all necessary steps to deal with this crisis. >> by all indications, this is a terrorist act. and the united states strongly
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condemns these kinds of terrorist acts. it is a very serious matter when americans are taken hostage along with others. >> reporter: it all began when 20 armed islamic militants, believed to be affiliated with al qaeda, approached a group of oil workers. the attackers were reportedly heavily armed, driving in three unmarked vehicles. the oil workers were on a bus headed to a nearby airport. there was a fight -- security forces for the workers battled back. when the smoke cleared, at least one foreign worker was dead, others wounded. the terrorists then headed to the compound where the gas refinery workers live. while it is unclear how many foreign workers they seized, sources say it could be as many as 15 to 20. along with the americans, there are british, norwegian, french and japanese workers, too.
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the attackers claim this is retaliation for the french-led invasion in the african nation of mali. the french are trying to stop an al qaeda-linked group from taking over that country. algerian troops have now surrounded the gas field where the hostages are being held, but they are moving cautiously. secretary panetta tonight compared the terrorists to 9/11 attackers who have little regard for innocent lives. diane? >> all right, thank you, martha. but this is new, this is different. i want to bring in abc's chief investigative correspondent brian ross, he's been following the group implicated in this. brian? >> reporter: there are claims by responsibility by an al qaeda group run by mokhtar belmokhar, who actually was kicked out of al qaeda just last year, because it was thought he was more interested in making money as a criminal than in pursuing the islamic agenda of al qaeda. >> so, he was kicked out of al qaeda -- >> reporter: kicked out. >> as a criminal. >> reporter: right. and he has the nickname of mr. marlboro, because he runs these
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smuggling routes through this region, carrying cigarettes, diamonds, guns and drugs and made millions of dollars kidnapping westerners. and collecting ransoms. >> so, it's not just ideology, he's also about money. was he on the u.s. radar? >> reporter: he is not on u.s. terror watch list that we could see. but we've been told for years now to watch out for this man, because he accumulated such wealth, it makes him a real threat to carry out these kinds of attacks. >> well, again, the news is breaking right now. and i know you'll continue to have details online and throughout the evening. thank you, brian. and this morning, the president made his move, his plan to curb gun violence in america. he said 900 americans have been killed by guns in the one month since newtown. the powerful nra responded to him immediately, saying they would fight the president hard. and they even put the president's daughters at the center of the argument. here's abc's chief white house correspondent jonathan karl. >> reporter: as gun sales across the country continue their
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record pace, gun advocates reacted swiftly to the president, declaring they will fight his proposals on every level. in mississippi, the governor said he wants to make it illegal in his state to enforce any new federal gun law. >> to use this tragedy somehow as to say we need great reforms is just the wrong thing to do. >> reporter: in oregon, a sheriff stood by his intention not to enforce any law he believes is unconstitutional. >> making criminals out of honest citizens, that's not the right path to go down. >> reporter: when the president made his announcement, he was joined by four kids who wrote him letters after sandy hook. >> these are some pretty smart letters from some pretty smart young people. julia said -- julia, where are you? there you go. "i'm not scared for my safety, i'm scared for others." >> reporter: rush limbaugh mocked that. >> the children are writing letters to the president, we don't want to die, we don't want to die. >> reporter: the president's proposals if passed by congress
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would ban assault weapons and high capacity magazine clips and require background checks on virtually every gun sale, even those between private individuals at gun shows. he called on his supporters to put pressure on members of congress. >> ask them what's more important. doing whatever it takes to get an a-grade from the gun lobby that funds their campaigns? or giving parents some peace of mind when they drop their child off for first grade. >> reporter: the president also announced 23 executive actions he can take without congress, including improving existing background checks and helping get security officers for schools that want them. even before the announcement, the national rifle association took a personal shot at the president, calling him an elitist hypocrite. >> why is he skeptical about putting armed security in our schools when his kids are protected by armed guards at their school? >> reporter: the white house called that repugnant and cowardly. the nra did not back down. >> oh, it's going to be -- it's going to be a battle. we're going to be there and we're going to fight it. >> reporter: as the white house
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launches a full-scale campaign to promote the plan, children like 11-year-old julia stokes will be front and center. what made you decide to write to the president? >> well, i was so overwhelmed with sadness about the sandy hook shooting and i knew as one person, i couldn't do anything, but i knew president obama could. >> reporter: the president's first task is to convince members of his own party to support his plan. specifically the 11 democrats in the senate who have an a or b rating from the nra. without their support, diane, his plan doesn't have a prayer of passing. >> at the white house, jonathan karl. thanks, jon. and now, we have breaking news from the faa tonight. the faa suddenly announced they are grounding the dreamliner. that new plane that ran into trouble. six of the planes are flying for united airlines here in the u.s. and for the latest on what's happened, abc senior national correspondent jim avila joins me. jim? >> reporter: diane, this is a huge blow to boeing. this is the faa telling united it cannot fly the dreamliner 787 starting right now.
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it's grounded until it can prove to the federal government that the airline has fixed the problem with the battery that continues to overheat. united is the only u.s. carrier flying the 787 so far. the plane of the future is expected to dominate american skies soon. but right now, as you say, only six are flying. there are 50 total flying in the world. most of them in japan. and japanese authorities grounded all of their 787s overnight after a battery warning light and the smell of smoke forced an emergency landing there. panicked passengers were evacuated on the emergency chutes. three people suffered minor injuries, but the most damage has been done to the reputation of america's largest plane manufacturer. >> but all along, inspectors seem to be saying these aren't real safety issues. are we now seeing safety issues? >> reporter: it has to be a safety issue, for the faa to ground it. they're worried they don't have a handle on that battery fire. and until they do, and there was a fire, possibly a fire in the air over japan, they don't want
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these planes flying until they fix it. >> okay, jim avila, as we said, this is new, just today. and now, dramatic images out of london today. two people died, 13 others injured when a helicopter slammed into a crane perched on top of a building 52 stories high. debris hurdled to the sidewalk at the height of rush hour. the helicopter pilot was experienced. he died. but at the time, there was poor visibility when he was flying because of heavy fog and authorities say it's a miracle there were not more casualties on the ground. this evening, a huge story caught everyone by surprise. a love story that led to a kind of sensational hoax. the star athlete for the notre dame football team riveted the nation with his inspiring story of a girlfriend who had died of leukemia, right before a crucial game. it turns out that girl apparently never existed. abc's dan harris explains the incredible tale of fame and deception. >> reporter: it was one of the most dramatic and emotional stories in recent sports history.
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manti te'o, the star linebacker for notre dame, enduring the death of both his grandmother and then his girlfriend within just six hours. >> you take the love of my life. last thing she said to me was, "i love you." >> reporter: te'o then went on to lead his team to a series of epic victories. propelled by his success and his story, he was a finalist for the heisman trophy. all along, he spoke freely about his twin tragedy. >> older brother called me and he was just crying and crying and crying and that's when i kind of knew, but i was still in denial. >> reporter: but tonight, word that that girlfriend, lennay kekua, never existed at all. the story, first reported on the sports news website deadspin, says she was a hoax, and the picture we all saw was of another woman who is very much alive and says she doesn't know te'o at all. late today, notre dame released a statement that coaches were informed by te'o and his parents that the star had been a victim of what appears to be a hoax. the college says someone using
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the fictitious name lennay kekua apparently ingratiated herself with manti and conspired with others to lead him to believe she had tragically died of leukemia. the question -- was this a case of catfishing? a term based on a documentary about a young man who is fooled into an online romance with a woman pretending to be somebody else. te'o himself has now issued a statement himself to our partner network, espn, saying he developed what he thought was an authentic, emotional relationship with a woman he met on the internet and they communicated online and on the phone. he calls this entire episode incredibly embarrassing. that's a direct quote. and he says he hopes others can learn from it. >> twists and turns of a modern world and a modern era. thank you, dan harris. and one more note from another athlete in the news, lance armstrong. speaking out today, 24 hours before his big interview with oprah winfrey, airs. he offered a kind of preview, saying, quote, "i left it all on the table with oprah, and when it airs, the people can decide." he also made a prediction about
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the road ahead, saying, quote, "i have no idea what the future holds, other than holding my kids." and still ahead on "world news," a new warning about energy drinks. and the new increase in people heading up to the e.r. our experiment shows what caffeine can do to your body and your brain. i've always had to keep my eye on her... but, i didn't always watch out for myself. with so much noise about health care... i tuned it all out. with unitedhealthcare, i get information that matters... my individual health profile. not random statistics. they even reward me for addressing my health risks. so i'm doing fine... but she's still going to give me a heart attack. we're more than 78,000 people looking out for more than 70 million americans. that's health in numbers. unitedhealthcare.
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until i got a job in the big apple. becoming a fulltime indoor cat wasn't easy for atti. but he had purina cat chow indoor. he absolutely loved it. and i knew he was getting everything he needed to stay healthy indoors. and after a couple of weeks, i knew we were finally home! [ female announcer ] purina cat chow indoor. and for a delicious way to help maintain a healthy weight, try new purina cat chow healthy weight. but with advair, i'm breathing better. so now i can be in the scene. advair is clinically proven to help significantly improve lung function. unlike most copd medications, advair contains both an anti-inflammatory and a long-acting bronchodilator working together to help improve your lung function all day. advair won't replace fast-acting inhalers for sudden symptoms
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a new report out tonight contains a real surprise. in just four years, the number of people who go to the emergency room after drinking energy drinks has doubled, from 10,000 to more than 20,000 people in the e.r. so, what has changed? and what are the drinks doing? abc's lisa stark has a caffeine experiment of her own. >> reporter: on youtube, downing these energy drinks is a game. lots of fun. >> on your mark, get set -- go! >> reporter: but this new government study calls consumption of energy drinks a rising public health problem. of those 20,000 emergency room visits in 2011, 42% reportedly had mixed the energy drink with another stimulant, like adderall or ritalin, or with alcohol. but 58% reportedly used energy drinks alone. so, what might be going on to send someone to the e.r.? >> blood pressure goes up, heart
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rate goes up, and then they'll start to feel the effects. heart racing, heart skipping, panic attack symptoms, irregular heart rhythms. >> reporter: caffeine is a drug. in fact, the most popular drug in the world. you can feel and see the effects on the body. i downed the equivalent of about four cups. doctors took a look at my brain before caffeine. and here's after. the blood flow dropped 40%. >> it's like a 40% drop in the blood flow to your brain. that's a lot. >> reporter: that lower blood flow is still within normal range, but those constricted vessels meant my blood pressure shot up. a cup of coffee alone won't send you to the e.r. and the most popular energy drinks have less caffeine than that strong cup of coffee you buy out. so what's going on here? >> there's other substances in them which are completely unregulated, which can add to the caffeine or the stimulant nature of the drinks. >> reporter: tonight, the trade association representing the
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beverage industry said the drinks are safe and denounced the hospital study, saying the limited information makes it impossible to understand the actual role, if any, of energy drinks in these hospital visits. still, doctors are calling for a whole lot more study and are on the lookout for the next patient to come through the door. lisa stark, abc news, washington. and coming up here, you have to see what this dog does for his owner, who is trapped in the ice. this is karen and jeremiah. they don't know it yet, but they're gonna fall in love, get married, have a couple of kids, [ children laughing ] move to the country, and live a long, happy life together where they almost never fight about money. [ dog barks ] because right after they get married, they'll find some retirement people who are paid on salary, not commission. they'll get straightforward guidance and be able to focus on other things, like each other, which isn't rocket science. it's just common sense.
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and here's what the twitterverse was buzzing about today. our lead story for the "instant index." looks like this. there is no longer a reason to live on the east coast. it's a testimonial from a dunkin' donuts fan after the company announced they are opening 1,000 stores across california. in a nod to all the time californians spend in their cars, dunkin says many of the new stores will have drive through service. so, for california, finally, the long dunkin drought is over. and a picture that puts this dog in the loyalty hall of fame. he is standing watch over his owner who fell through the ice on the colorado river. and he barked for help, but refused to leave his owner's side for 30 minutes, until firefighters were able to rescue him. the two had been out hunting. other hunters saw it, called
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911. tonight, man and dog are recovering from the icy cold. and we have a passing to note. the tv dad who taught us all that the world does not move to the beat of just one drum. >> ah-ha. you're here. welcome. gentlemen? >> talking to us? >> of course. >> how about that, willis? downtown two minutes and already we're gentlemen. >> come on! >> conrad bain, who played the beloved adopted father on "diff'rent strokes," has died at the age of 89. his daughter said today that her father was a lot like mr. drummond in real life, but more interesting. and we love it when you see something out there for our "instant index," so, tweet it to me, @dianesawyer. coming up next, you will feel the heat, hear the roar, as we take you into the split-second decisions of a firefighter inside the flames. that's next.
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hi, i just switched jobs, and i want to roll over my old 401(k) into a fidelity ira. man: okay, no problem. it's easy to get started; i can help you with the paperwork. um...this green line just appeared on my floor. yeah, that's fidelity helping you reach your financial goals. could you hold on a second? it's your money. roll over your old 401(k) into a fidelity ira and take control of your personal economy. this is going to be helpful. call or come in today. fidelity investments. turn here. we've decided to we're all having such a great year in the gulf, put aside our rivalry. 'cause all our states are great. and now is when the gulf gets even better. the beaches and waters couldn't be more beautiful. take a boat ride or just lay in the sun. enjoy the wildlife and natural beauty. and don't forget our amazing seafood. so come to the gulf, you'll have a great time. especially in alabama. you mean mississippi. that's florida. say louisiana or there's no dessert. brought to you by bp and all of us who call the gulf home.
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just begin with america's favorite soups. bring out chicken broccoli alfredo. or best-ever meatloaf. go to for recipes, plus a valuable coupon. campbell's. it's amazing what soup can do. a body at rest tends to stay at rest... while a body in motion tends to stay in motion. staying active can actually ease arthritis symptoms. but if you have arthritis, staying active can be difficult. prescription celebrex can help relieve arthritis pain so your body can stay in motion. because just one 200mg celebrex a day can provide 24 hour relief for many with arthritis pain and inflammation. plus, in clinical studies, celebrex is proven to improve daily physical function so moving is easier. celebrex can be taken with or without food. and it's not a narcotic. you and your doctor should balance the benefits with the risks. all prescription nsaids, like celebrex, ibuprofen, naproxen and meloxicam have the same cardiovascular warning.
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they all may increase the chance of heart attack or stroke, which can lead to death. this chance increases if you have heart disease or risk factors such as high blood pressure or when nsaids are taken for long periods. nsaids, including celebrex, increase the chance of serious skin or allergic reactions or stomach and intestine problems, such as bleeding and ulcers, which can occur without warning and may cause death. patients also taking aspirin and the elderly are at increased risk for stomach bleeding and ulcers. do not take celebrex if you've had an asthma attack, hives, or other allergies to aspirin, nsaids or sulfonamides. get help right away if you have swelling of the face or throat, or trouble breathing. tell your doctor your medical history. and find an arthritis treatment for you. visit and ask your doctor about celebrex. for a body in motion. yeah. then how'd i get this... [ voice of dennis ] driving bonus check? every six months without an accident, allstate sends a check. ok. [ voice of dennis ] silence. are you in good hands?
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finally tonight, the story of a real hometown hero. firefighters across this country face so many dangerous decisions, we cannot imagine what it is they do every day. so, one young firefighter put a camera on his helmet for a solid year, so that we could be there with them in the heat and the treachery of a blazing fire. and here's abc's john schriffen. >> reporter: this is what it's like to walk into a burning house. the first thing you feel? the scorching heat. temperatures can reach more than 500 degrees. you feel the heat right through your fire suit. inside? it's noisy.
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it's disorienting. the smoke in your eyes. while one of the big fears is beneath your feet. while you take each step, will the floor give way? >> if you're not safe, then you can't really do a good job for the people you're supposed to be helping out. so, that's always in your mind. your own safety. >> reporter: for a full year, 27-year-old firefighter scott zeigler filmed his day job, with a camera mounted on his helmet, capturing blaze after blaze near detroit, michigan. >> that could be in anybody's tow town. >> reporter: he's been a firefighter since he was a teenager. he says his mother worries about him. he said he wanted to show people what it's really like inside a burning building. at a time when his department and others around the country are being forced to fight more fires with fewer resources. >> looking at it, you can kind of tell. that looks pretty dangerous -- because it is. it is very dangerous. so, if they can take anything away from it, maybe they know a firefighter or maybe the town
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they live in is talking about cutting their funding. maybe they can look at that video and think, well, those guys do a pretty dangerous job. it seems to be that they might need more people than less. >> reporter: it's a unique perspective, with unique lessons to be learned. zeigler says it's crucial to plan ahead. >> people should have floor plans to their house, teach their kids, if your house catches on fire, you know, run drills so they can get out of that house and not worry about anything else. >> get out and wait for help. help coming from zeigler and thousands of firefighters who put their lives at risk every day, and then come back for more. john schriffen, abc news, new york. >> and we thank john. and altogether, there are more than 1 million firefighters in the united states, and 800,000 of them are volunteers. so, we thank you for all you do every single day. and we thank you for watching tonight. we're always working for you at "nightline" later at its new time, 12:35 a.m. eastern. and i'll see you back here again tomorrow night. good night.
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americans say enough, then, change will come. >> the president signs off a dozen of new measures a bay area man is taking his plea to heart, qum a controversial]÷e.a proposal that does not need approval of congress. >> good evening. that man is a prominent south bay attorney drafting an ordinance with vikt strikt controls on assault weapons he wants bay area cities to adopt but the plan is getting mixed reviews. david? >> well, it's very unusual to have a private citizen draft a proposed ordinance that is
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fully crafted with requirements and penalties but i'm holding it here inwj$ñ my hand. it was submitted to a committee this afternoon, giving san jose sweeping powers over assault weapons. >> the 77-year-old attorney van smith stood before the committee with his two page proposal. it calls for anyone with an 5-á

ABC World News With Diane Sawyer
ABC January 16, 2013 5:30pm-6:00pm PST

News/Business. Diane Sawyer. (2013) New. (CC)

TOPIC FREQUENCY Abc 7, U.s. 5, Diane 4, Faa 4, Advair 4, Purina 3, America 3, Usaa 3, Dennis 3, Zeigler 2, Panetta 2, California 2, Dan Harris 2, John Schriffen 2, Dunkin 2, Jonathan Karl 2, Mississippi 2, Martha 2, Unitedhealthcare 2, Allstate 2
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